Spanish 61

Course: Spanish 61 – Spanish Literature and Film: Filmic and Literary Modulations in Contemporary Spain

Instructor: Prof. Txetxu Aguado

I am sure my students will derive their project from the main topics covered in this course. These are: The Spanish Civil War (violence and its representation), tourism and emigration (travels, stereotypes about the other and their representations), Postmodernity (Pedro AlmodÛvar and his visual ideas about sexuality, homosexuality, traditional values, religion, etc.) and Identity and Terrorism (representation of the other/of difference) within a national culture.

I am also showing my students clips from other movies (classical movies besides the ones they are required to watch for this course) to make them aware and give them ideas about how to translate feelings, ideas, situations… into images. For example, one day we will watch the last scene from The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Wells 1948) with the purpose of showing them how the director portrayed the split personalities of the woman character in the movie.

Before having the iMovie workshop, I will give my students time to think about their projects so that hopefully the will have a draft-script by that time. I want them to take a scene from one of the movies or from one of the novels and to figure out how to make it into images of their own. Don’t worry, I will tone and narrow down their projects and first ideas. Let me give an example. In one of the movies, there is a scene where the fascist police comes to arrest a republican fighter. He is able to escape before the police arrives. The whole movie, its ideas and notions, it position, the point it is trying to make, is contained in the dialogue and images of this approximately 2 minute sequence. I am expecting something similar from my students.
Their group project will not exceed 5 minutes.

The students really enjoyed the project and they only wrote positive comments about it in their evaluations. All of them remarked that it has been a wonderful experience. From my point of view, I am convinced that through this hands-on activity they have become more aware of the ways images construct meaning and more sophisticated in analyzing a film.